On May 18, International Museum Day (IMD), the world is encouraged to enjoy a visual feast with the theme "Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums" in mind.
"History is a vital tool for defining a given people's identity, and each of us defines ourselves through important and fundamental historic events. Contested histories are unfortunately not isolated traumatic events. These histories, which are often little known or misunderstood, resonate universally, as they concern and affect us all," the International Council of Museums (ICOM) explained in a statement.
The organization added, "By focusing on the role of museums as hubs for promoting peaceful relationships between people, this theme highlights how the acceptance of a contested history is the first step in envisioning a shared future under the banner of reconciliation."
Here are what you can see in the museums for free on International Museum Day:
"Seascapes" and "Abot Tanaw" will be on view for free on May 18 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila starting 11 a.m.
A guided tour of "Mapping the Philippine Seas" with Dr. Jaime Laya is scheduled for 3 p.m., for those interested in being more knowledgeable about geography and perhaps put certain disputes in context.
The Yuchengco Museum and Museo Pambata are also waiving admission fees on May 18.
Admission is always free at the National Museum and the public is encouraged to visit it as well.
On IMD, they've prepared a "Doodling and Lettering Workshops" in addition to tours on contested histories at the National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Anthropology.
The Lopez Museum and Library is waiving the admission fee for two days — May 18 and May 20 — in observance of IMD.
A guided tour for the current exhibit "Pauses of Possibility" is on offer, scheduled at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
On May 19, Friday, the Ayala Museum — in addition waiving admission fees to all of their galleries — has scheduled a talk with Toym Imao and Lilianna Manahan, the artists behind the art installation Manara, as part of their lineup to bring Muslim Mindanao Culture closer to the public.
Specialty food stalls will be set up during the event, so be sure to make room for a sampler of Southern Philippines' culinary arts.
The National Museum Planetarium is also offering free admission for the entire month of May.
International Museum Day has been held annually since 1977. In 2016, over 35,000 in some 145 countries joined the observance of the event. — Aya Tantiangco/BM, GMA News